Relationship is the key. Whether it be in individual or couples counselling/ psychotherapy, when meeting a potential client(s), for the first time, it is important to be clear about the way I work as a counsellor/ psychotherapist. Our therapeutic relationship, as it develops, is key to how the therapy progresses, and ultimately whether it is seen as successful in facilitate desired change for the client.
Some interesting facts about relational work;
- The importance that is placed on relationship, in all its forms – with the self, with the other and with the inter-subjective (what happens when we get together).
- The belief that the most profound change happens through experience (as opposed to cognitive insight), and most powerfully through relational experiences that embody and enact different meanings from those that relationships once did for the client.
- The central focus of bringing to light the unconscious relational patterns that shape all of our experiences of ourselves and of our selves with others.
- A recognition that providing different relational experiences from those that are expected and/or longed for by the client, can be extremely exacting for both parties, and within this the practitioner as well as the client will be called upon to extend, challenge, change and get to know them-self in some new way.
- The belief that the practitioner is an active participant in the work and is not and cannot be a neutral observer within this.This suggests a two person rather than a one-person approach – the client is not there to be done to, nor the practitioner to be a benign provider of what was once missing for the client; both parties are actively involved in the process of finding new and more authentic ways of relating with each other.
- That central importance that is placed on the way that the practitioner uses the pushes and pulls of their own subjective experience (or countertransference) with the client, to inform when and what intervention will best enhance the client’s knowledge of self and of the other.
- An appreciation for the fact that certainty is neither possible nor necessarily desirable in the search for meaning. Recognising that the meanings that we have or will arrive at have been shaped and co-created and filtered through our individual social contexts, there is a belief that shifting from an individual perspective into a multiple perspective adds a depth and richness to the endeavour that enhances rather than detracts from it.In line with this ‘both/and’ thinking is valued over ‘either/or’.
- That the client is seen as and is treated very much as an adult, who is capable of a reciprocal, adult relationship with the practitioner. Within this the maternal metaphor in which the practitioner acts as a temporary replacement for unsatisfactory parents, there to meet their client’s unmet relational needs, is made problematic. Instead, the “activity of relatedness” and a “love of truth”, (Cornell and Bonds-white 2001), where both parties are willing to acknowledge reality about themselves is emphasised. (Source; http://www.metanoia.ac.uk/transactional-analysis/What+is+Relational+TA)
If you would like to find out more what you can achieve through counselling/ psychotherapy why not contact me today.